USG Elects New Freshman Senators


Students, pictured above, participated in a socially distanced electoral process. (Mackenzie Cranna/The Fordham Ram)

The Class of 2024 has elected four out of five of their Class of 2024 representatives for the freshman Senate. The winning candidates for the Rose Hill Class of 2024 were Farah Elrakhawi, FCRH ’24; Gabrielle Leigh Simporios, FCRH ’24; and Cole Mullins, FCRH ’24. 

There is also one representative of the two required for the Gabelli School of Business, Jillian Choy, GSB ’24, a write-in candidate. The United Student Government (USG) will be holding a special election during their Senate meeting this Thursday, Sept. 24, in order to determine who the remaining GSB senator will be.

On Wednesday, Sep. 16, the United Student Government held their virtual “Meet the Freshmen Candidates” event through Zoom. The candidates were able to introduce themselves to the student body, go through a few of their objectives as freshmen senators and take any questions from those attending.

Elrakhawi, who is from Long Island and is currently living on campus, said that her main objectives during her tenure are to improve the speed and connectivity of the Wi-Fi on campus, foster clear communication between students and administration, especially concerning the accessibility of information on Fordham’s COVID-19 response during these uncertain times and help incoming freshmen with the college adjustment process.

She suggested an introductory course on Blackboard to introduce students to the various formats of virtual courses, as the transition to college is especially difficult when students come into online courses. Elrakhawi said she spent her senior year of high school working with Laura Gillen and her team on her reelection campaign for the position of supervisor of Hempstead, which Gillen lost. 

Elrakhawi said that this experience helped her fall in love with politics and campaigning. She believes that what sets her apart from the other candidates are her dedication and problem-solving skills.

Simporios, a commuter student, said that her main objective during her time in the Senate would be to help Fordham students build strong peer communities without putting themselves in danger of contracting COVID-19. 

She proposed a bi-monthly program of student-led Zoom meetings for various interests outside of club meetings for the purposes of letting students meet each other. During her time in high school, Simporios was her class secretary, on the student council, a camp counselor, started a club centered around college and life leadership and committed herself to outreach work. She said that what sets her apart is her energy, her outgoing personality and her ability to make friends with her fellow students.

Mullins, who is from San Diego, California and is currently living on campus, stated that his main objectives as a senator would be to get new study spaces and better living spaces for the student body, find a more efficient way to report cases of COVID-19 to the university and create a program for online students to help them better transition to living on campus in future semesters. 

This program would possibly include a “buddy system” with a student who has been living on campus. During his time in high school, Mullins said he participated in his school’s mock trial team, student government and various service clubs. He said that what sets him apart from the rest of the candidates is his ability to approach the majority of the student body with his social skills and his outgoing nature.